Talk:The Puppet Masters

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There is an inaccuracy in this article. The term "Puppet Masters" does not appear only once- Sam calls the Old Man a Puppet Master for tricking him into taking part in the experiment. The Old Man points to the slug and says that there is the Puppet Master. I don't have time to make the appropriate changes right now. If somebody else can correct this, please do so. (talk) 16:50, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

'There was an episode from Star Trek: The Original Series with similar creatures. Did they get the idea from the Heinlein book?

The episode was Operation: Annihilate! and the consensus seems to be that it was. Ellsworth 23:15, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
And not to mention the STTNG episode "Conspiracy" --Ron Ritzman 15:52, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

Is it just me, or is this article a little sarcastic? I'm pretty sure that a sarcastic article isn't NPOV, so I might edit this a little bit if no one disagrees. Jon Jan 5, 2005

Go for it, dude! Ellsworth 00:54, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I've deleted "award-winning" and "masterpiece." Heinlein won a bunch of Hugos and Nebulas for novels, and this isn't one of them, and that matches up with my own opinion that, while this is a good story, and turned out to be influential in some ways, it's not by any means one of his best. --Bcrowell 22:33, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm not going to start a whole new section for one slight query, so I'll put it here. In paragraph 4 of Plot introduction it says "However, communications satellites have not been thought of." I know this is hair-splitting to a degree, but a page or so into chapter 19 he writes, "the operation was being controlled by relay through Space Station Alpha," which would indicate that it has been thought of, just not utilised for everyday non-military use. (He kind of cites lack of bandwidth.)The-Dixie-Flatline (talk) 22:43, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Fixing date of story[edit]

The current section sounds rather vague and speculative to me (although I strongly suspect its premise is correct). I don't see how anyone could predict what a several-century-old Kansas City would be like. Do we have a source (or at least a clearer explanation) for this claim? — Jeff Q (talk) 3 July 2005 06:37 (UTC)

I've replaced the reference to "century old or more" Kansas City neighborhoods with a more specific dating reference about Stalinism in Russia "for three generations", which, barring any warping of human reproductive cycles undisclosed in the novel or alternative history theories, pretty much fixes the date as 2107. — Jeff Q (talk) 4 July 2005 03:11 (UTC)
I just reverted a more concise and bold statement about the date. I have no problems with someone writing better or more concise text. But in a novel about the future without an explicitly stated date, one cannot assume that human generations are the same, nor can one insist that "Stalinism" refers to the original 20th-century instance. As it is, the whole section borders on original research. I don't feel we can assert this date any more surely than I've stated. — Jeff Q (talk) 4 July 2005 04:53 (UTC)
I disagree with you that it borders on original research. (I didn't write the section, BTW.) The prohibition on original research has to do with verifiability; it's not a prohibition on logical reasoning. I also disagree that the sentence about the human reproductive cycle is necessary. IMO it's goofy and unnecessary, and makes the article come off as fannish and silly. The space devoted to it is way out of proportion to the length of the whole article. I've deleted it. The reader can fill in the blanks for himself, and decide whether there's some bizarre hole in the reasoning. The article doesn't state that the date is definitely 2007, only that it's "likely."--Bcrowell 18:00, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
After thinking about it some more, I've decided simply to delete the section. I don't think it's notable at all. It might have been notable if this had been a future history story, and there was some question of where it fit in; but since it's clearly not part of Heinlein's future history, I don't see that this material is even of any particular interest.--Bcrowell 18:26, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to agree with the deletion of the material, even though I worked on it. My attempt to be precise did sound rather fannish, and it isn't really all that important an issue. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:16, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry to reopen what appears to be a settled dicussion, but the novel is certainly set in the first decade of the 21st Century. Towards the end of the book, there is discussion of Mary having been taken by the aliens as a child, circa 1980, and released about ten years later, in 1990. During the action of the novel she is biologically in her twenties. QED. I have therefore removed the paranthetical suggestion that the book might have been set in the early 22nd Century.Brandon39 22:33, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Extra ISFDB links.[edit]

The main title is 1358 on the ISFDB. Titles [1], [2] and [3] should be merged into it once editing facilities are opened up. since there's no way to note this on the ISFDB, I'm making a note of it here. I have currently linked only to the one canonical title record there. grendel|khan 14:27, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Alternate version[edit]

Surely the reason for the cuts in the original version aren't just for length. The magazine version (excepting Horace Gold's attempts at rewriting, to which Heinlein took violent exception) also cuts the material. With examples such as its opening scene, where Sam contemplates the blonde in his bed, perhaps it was just too racy for 1951 sf? Signinstranger 15:46, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Are the references to ISBN numbers, different copyright dates and different opening words about Stranger in a Strange Land or Puppet Masters? If they refer to SSL they shouldn't be here. How can you differentiate between different versions of PM? Saintmesmin (talk) 17:18, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm a little confused about the versions issue. My Pan Books copy (ISBN 0 330 02235 0), published 1969 shows copyright dates of 1940, '42, '50 and '51, then a second 1951 copyright to World Editions inc. There is no mention of the blonde in his bed, as mentioned by Signinstranger above, yet some of the book definitely seems quite racy for 1950, let alone 1940 (in fact the whole public nudity thing would have been too racy for 1940 I would have thought). Also the use of the phrase "flying saucers" which wasn't coined until 1947. So, not as racey as Signinstranger's, but definitely rewritten to a degree after '47 ... Have I got some sort of intermediate version here, or what? There's no mention of it being abridged at all.The-Dixie-Flatline (talk) 22:23, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Not his 'only foray into alien invasion within science fiction' at all[edit]

What's with this badly-researched OR, anyway? I'll come back to this article sometime soon, and I'll be removing this ridiculous line if it's still here. The contributor obviously hasn't read all the Scribner's juveniles, but that's no excuse for such a sweeping statement. Blitterbug (talk) 03:24, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

"Hundreds of thousands of agents"?[edit]

The plot summary says "Hundreds of thousands of agents, Sam and the Old Man among them, parachute in to treat victims with drug-dispensing guns". This sounds odd, as does a secret organisation that only the President knows about have so many members?
Plus, I recall from reading the novel that members of the military were involved. In fact I think anyone who volunteered was used. - 220 of Borg 06:00, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:The Puppet Masters/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I had occasion to access this page to look up the date of the 1994 film and noticed an error in the discussion of the variora. According to Ginny Heinlein, the draft given to HLGold for Galaxy was entirely different from the draft given to Walter Bradbury for Doubleday. The Doubleday draft had been cut at Bradbury's instructions to 75,000 words; the Gold version had been cut for magazine serialization to 60,000 words. She did not specify whether the Doubleday draft was further cut (i.e., the Galaxy draft was a cut-down of the Doubleday draft) and I haven't had a chance to read through the manuscripts line by line. But in any case, the Galaxy cut was not the same as the Doubleday 1951 cut.

Last edited at 18:07, 3 August 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 08:20, 30 April 2016 (UTC)